New recreation center opens in Austin

Austin is an excellent destination for people who enjoy spending time with their neighbors, and the city recently opened a new recreational facility for residents to enjoy. The YMCA/North Austin Community Recreation Center, located at 1000 West Rundberg Lane near the intersection of North Lamar, opened its doors on December 1, 2012, and could have a major impact on the city. People who are checking out some of the homes for sale in Austin might appreciate this center that features 36,000 square feet of space, a gymnasium, arts and crafts classes for kids and much more.

The recreation center's effect on Austin residents
Linda Moore, the former president of the North Austin Civic Association, said the new facility is the beginning of a dream come true because it is designed for residents of all ages. It is the result of an $8.9 million bond initiative passed in November 2006 and replaces the former North Park Family Branch that closed in June 2012.

"Now we are seeing the finished product, which will be a great benefit for our neighborhood. We have needed a central place for meetings and recreation for a long time and we look forward to enjoying the building that the city and the YMCA have provided for North Austin," Moore said.

Construction of the recreation center
Austin City Council members chose Studio 8 Architects to design the recreation center. Work crews targeted the development of a civic facility that reflected the YMCA's core values - healthy living, social responsibility and youth development - and searched for a site that provided North Austin residents quick, easy access to a one-of-a-kind facility.

In July 2010, Austin officials agreed to set up the recreation center on a 6.9-acre site located north of U.S. Highway 183 and west of IH-35. This facility was constructed using eco-friendly practices, and it features durable, low-maintenance materials that help create a welcoming environment for visitors.

Additionally, the center could receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. A white solar reflective roof surface that reduces the building's heat load is just one of the building's several green features.

A community garden is also in the works at the center, and Austin officials expect it to be completed next year. Local residents helped design the garden through workshops and public events, and it will be located below the rooftop terrace on the north side of the building.

A wide range of services available at the recreation center
The recreation center is designed to serve all residents and offers programs that promote character development values and get people mentally, physically and spiritually fit.

Visit the facility to join an adult basketball league, receive after-school care, participate in a fitness boot camp and more. Staff members and volunteers are available to help guests choose programs that fit their needs, and each activity provides plenty of opportunities to meet other community members and make new friends. 

This year, the YMCA of Austin is also delivering financial assistance to more than 40,000 men, women and children so they can participate in the center's activities. The North Austin facility offers two types of memberships - community and facility - that help fit visitors' budgets.

Community memberships are complimentary and give subscribers access to the center's community lounge, computer lab, gymnasium, meeting rooms and teen room at any time unless there is already a scheduled program. Meanwhile, facility memberships are more expansive and provide users with access to various YMCA facilities throughout the Austin area.